Sunday, July 2, 2017

LLedge Eames: "Why I'm Passionate About Second Pride"

LLedge Eames is the chair of Second Pride. This statement was posted on Facebook today. 

I am completely in support of all that LLedge has to say on the reasons we have - indeed why we need - Second Pride in SecondLife and wish to share it with you all.

LLedge Eames, Chair of Second Pride
"So the Second Pride Festival is almost over, and what a ride it is has been. The festival is already well on it's way to become one of the most legendary seasons of Pride yet. 

With amazing DJ's and Hosts coordinated by Viktor Sandman our Event Director, Content creators from the A-list, volunteers Kahvy & Garret Smith wrangling social media, Lee Mckay's website designing, Tootsie Nootan our Security chair and her team (Levi & Kit) keeping the festival safe and so many sponsors helping, this Pride Festival could be nothing other than a great success!

As donations are poring in I want to take a moment to talk about pride, and about the money involved in second pride as well.

I myself and the members of my board team have donated many beautiful party decorations to the Festival to make it amazing and Jak Calcutt our Building Director really outdid himself! T L C Home Collection donated a lot of new animals to the Japanese strolling garden, and many others have helped make this years festival amazing!

Yet, many ask me: Why Second Pride? Why donate?

I've recently read a blog by one of Pride's Bloggers, Bailey Saxmundham. Being Transgender, who better to ask?

"People ask "Why Pride?". There have been so many advances over the years since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, but there is still a way to go. Some of the advances have been overturned.

Pride isn't about parties - it is about visibility and solidarity. It is about community and belonging. It is about not giving in and not giving up."

And that hits it right on the mark for me. It's not about the parties. It's not about the honor and glory of those that shine on the stage, or those that didn't make it to the schedule this year. It's about coming together and forming a front. It is about not giving in and not giving up. About providing a place in SecondLife where we can be safe. Safe to be ourselves, all year round! A place to come back to when the going gets a little tough. A place to relax in the park or to remember in the memorial. And yes, a place to party and celebrate!

Some say, Pride is commercialized. But in reality, those sponsors and vendors show their own pride the best way they can: by bringing their business. By saying, we don't care about the haters, we are rising above. Buy my Pride? PLEASE do!!!

Because with that money, we can have this sim. This place in this virtual world called Second Pride. Not just during pride week, no, all year round! We are featured in the SecondLife destination guide and have had Lindens visit our festival. We will work with Linden Lab to list our sim as a permanent gay destination after the festival. That is where the money goes first of all: that place we can call Home. And we are proud of it, and of everyone donating their time and funds into this. Second Pride is owned by the community, and paid for by the community. And that, is a beautiful thing.

And the surplus? The Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, Rainbow Roads, they all benefit. Second Pride is working with the Madonna show on a huge 4 hour benefit for Rainbow Roads this coming July 22. Also there's the nonprofit charities that we have given space on the sim: UCC SL, TAVA (Transgender American Veterans Association) TRC (Transgender Resource Center), and SOS (survivors of suicide / depression support project). New this year for the festival we invited the Care and Hope Center (awareness and support for victims of domestic violence)

Yes, there are many ways to support the community in the real world as well. But not everyone is able to participate in the real world, the same way they can in SecondLife.

At Second Pride, we can be who we want to be. In whatever shape or form. We can help, reach out, come together and make sure none of us gives in, or gives up. And that, makes me PROUD!

Happy Pride Everyone!
LLege Eames
SecondPride Chair


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